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Creation Myths of Primitive America, by Jeremiah Curtin, [1898], at


This myth has many and very valuable elements,--the importance of dreams, the stopping or slackening the course of the sun, the music of Juiwaiyu as he moves, the choice of the right road, the storm of vermin, Jupka as monitor and helper, the summons to send Damhauja's daughters to meet him, the inexhaustible venison no larger than a walnut, Juiwaiyu's marvellous music on the mountain, the bringing home of countless deer in the body of a fawn, the race with Damhauja's sons-in-law, the meeting with the poison spider, the rattlesnake and the grizzly bear, the storm, the drowning of Damhauja and his resurrection,--make this one of the richest of Yana tales.

Playing with two bones was very much like playing ball. Near both ends of the field barriers were set up, and each side had to put the bones past the barrier toward which they faced.

The starting-point was in the middle of the field, at an equal distance from both barriers. At the opening of the game all the players gathered at this middle point; the bones were thrown up, and all struggled for them. Whoever caught the bones on his stick either hurled them toward the barrier beyond which he

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wished to put them, or he ran toward it, bearing them on the point of his stick. If there were swifter runners than he, they took the bones from him, or if he hurled them ahead, they ran and threw them or carried them toward one barrier or another. The bones were fastened together by a string some inches long.

In Yana tales, Damhauja, the moon during the last quarter, plays or rather played, a great part. I say played, since, unfortunately, we have but a fragment of Yana lore left after the events of 1864. Damhauja's sons-in-law on the west side of the river, in this tale, were various Mapchemaina people,--that is, beings who somewhat later became beasts, birds, plants, rocks, and insects on earth. All the stars were his children. His daughters, stars, were married to Mapchemaina people, except the two of whom Juiwaiyu had dreamed. His sons, stars also, lived near him, and were at enmity with his sons-in-law.

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